24 September 2021

Free 'mystery boxes' make it easy to pick your next lockdown book or movie

| Dominic Giannini
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Woman reading book in store

Libraries ACT is offering free mystery boxes to deliver its resources to Canberrans. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

There’s good news for Canberrans who have burnt out their Netflix accounts during COVID-19 lockdown, and who aren’t appeased by online reading and digital books, with library home delivery services back to offering free resources.

Libraries ACT will deliver books and other resources such as DVDs in a contactless manner in mystery boxes for indecisive Canberrans who can now choose a genre or topic and leave the rest to the Territory’s librarians.

ACT Minister for City Services Chris Steel said the library delivery service arrived just in time for school holidays, but was dampened by the COVID-19 lockdown.

“We know many Canberrans will be keen to take advantage of the mystery boxes while they are doing the right thing by our community and staying at home,” he said.

Mr Steel said there has been a strong increase in demand for Libraries ACT’s online services following the closure of libraries due to the lockdown.

Libraries ACT’s video streaming service, Kanopy, has recorded an almost 70 per cent increase in downloads during the past few weeks, he said.

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There has also been a strong surge in demand for the digital resources section of the Libraries ACT website.

“We have also recently launched a digital-only program – the ‘Too Busy Book Club’ – including a Facebook discussion group that has got off to a great start with more than 300 members,” said Mr Steel.

The home library service is also back, allowing people with a disability, illness or limited mobility to have a small selection of books and resources brought to them.

New members will need a written referral from their doctor, nurse, community worker or the Canberra Blind Society.

For more information on how to book a delivery, visit Libraries ACT.

Assistance is available for people who need help from a library staff member with digital resources or online registrations by calling 02 6207 7265.

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Tom Worthington3:38 pm 25 Sep 21

The ACT Library ‘mystery boxes’ look a good idea. However, I was confused by the eligibility requirement “unable to access Libraries”. The libraries are closed & residents ordered not to leave home, so who could access them? Also the question has a negative in it, making it harder to answer. https://www.library.act.gov.au/services/mystery-box-delivery-service

ps: Perhaps ACT Libraries could do a quick review of stock and put excess in the street libraries, as they are staring to look a little bare.

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